This I Believe

Kaitlyn - Round Rock, Texas
Entered on May 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Top 100 Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...


High school is said to be “the best years of your life.” I can’t see why. There is nothing great about drama over boys, pimples, gross cafeteria food, and homework 24/7. High school seems to be the center of the universe where nothing else matters but having the highest class rank, or coolest clothes, or most friends, or hottest boyfriend. Then we go off to the college that we spent so much time trying to get into and realize that it’s high school all over again with a new setting, new people, and new trends. Nothing is ever enough. Throughout your life, whether you are 16 or 66, everyone is obsessed with who’s the best dressed, who has the most money and the right friends. Everyone endures a constant struggle to climb up the social ladder which is never-ending. Once you think you are at the top you still have to keep climbing. You think that you only have to endure the torture of high school for four years but there is a never ending struggle to fit in as you grow older. I know that in high school I deal with some of the same problems that my mom and even my grandma have. Life seems to be all about who you can impress with what you have. As you get older, the scale just seems to get larger.

High school is about the clothes and college is about the car and once you’re married it’s about your house and job. Whenever you enter a new situation, you have to impress people like high school all over again. There is the “cool crowd” of cheerleaders, jocks, and prom queens in every situation, and you are dying to be included. Last year, when I was a sophomore my family moved from Virginia to Texas. I left all of my friends, family, and life as I knew it. My world was completely flipped, and I was left alone to try to make at least one friend. Over the past year I have slowly begun to make some close friends, but even now as a junior in high school, I constantly struggle with the desire to fit in and feel included. But what does it matter in the long run? In a year I will be that “new kid” in college immersed in a brand new atmosphere and have to make all new friends with a whole new crowd. My mom faced this problem recently when she started a new job. Her first day was like starting high school all over again because she had to have the perfect outfit and make sure she said the right things. The last thing she wanted to do was say something stupid and spoil her chances of being part of the “in crowd.”

I don’t want to be judged for who I am in high school, but more importantly for who I become. However, I know that throughout my life I will have to be judged by the “prom queens” and “jocks” whether I like it or not.